Presidential Candidates on Education: Donald Trump

Presidential Primaries are in full swing around the country.  The news and publicized debates have reported some general education ideas and plans from candidates, but it’s all been very piecemeal.  For the next few weeks, let’s dig into what some of the candidates are saying about education and school choice.  We’ll talk about prominent candidates from both parties and give unbiased information and facts from reputable sources.

Let’s begin with Republican Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump has had many different titles throughout his career, but entrepreneur, real estate tycoon, investor, author and television personality have been the most prominent.  He is a native New Yorker and got his start by joining his father’s real estate & development company in 1968.  He took control of the company several years later and made it big as a developer of casinos, hotels, and high-end real estate.  Mr. Trump has never been a politician or policymaker, but ran for President in 2000 as a member of the Reform Party.  He has been affiliated with or a member of every major political party.

Although he has not publicized a specific plan to improve the state of education in the United States, he does have strong opinions on problem areas.

In his book, The America We Deserve (2000), he says, “Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. …We’ve got to bring on the competition—open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way....”.

Mr. Trump is aware of the American education system on a global front; he has ripped into U.S. education because it lags other countries.   He is in favor of reducing, or even eliminating the Department of Education and is “totally against Common Core.”  He goes on to say, “That’s a disaster.  That’s bad.  It should be local and all of that” (Iowa Freedom Summit, January 2015).  

Again, Mr. Trump has not publicized a specific education plan, so information is coming from direct quotes and reputable sources.  It will be interesting to see if or how his plan for reforming U.S. education will be laid out in the future. 

The Ohio eSchool Coalition is not affiliated with a specific political party, nor are we endorsing a particular candidate.  Please stay tuned for updates on other major Presidential Candidates.